Since graduating with a degree in Politics and Government in 1978, Paddy Costall has worked within the social care sector, mainly for NGOs, spent four years working in the probation service and is a qualified social work practice teacher. As Director of Services for Cranstoun Drug Services (1995-2005) he developed and directed community and prison-based substance misuse treatment services. In addition he developed and delivered a programme of national and international conferences and events, and managed international networks supported through funding from the European Commission. He has directed over 70 conferences, ranging from 50 to 1,500 delegates, including in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Thailand and the UK.
Paddy has also worked as an independent consultant and trainer and has produced a number of reports on substance misuse treatment within criminal justice systems in Europe. He was the founder and Managing Director of the Conference Consortium, until May 2011, where he directed five editions of the International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, as well as many other national and European events.